Despite three ER doctors leaving MRH, rural hospital still has 24/7 coverage
In recent weeks Memorial Regional Health has seen three of its emergency room doctors leave the organization in some form or fashion.
Dr. Tinh Huyn, a colonel in the United States Army Reserves, was recalled by the military and subsequently deployed, according to MRH Vice President of Operations Jennifer Riley.
“Dr. Huyn will be out for 4 or 5 months, we’re not really sure on the timeline,” Riley said. Dr. Huyn was deployed at the end of December 2019.
Shortly after Dr. Huyn’s deployment, Dr. Mary Wardrop resigned from MRH, putting in her notice for April 30, 2020, citing differences with MRH’s new direction.
Along with Dr. Wardrop, Dr. Mike Fallon abruptly resigned, leaving MRH on Jan. 10. Dr. Fallon put in his notice in late December, according to Riley.
While down three of its employed ER doctors, MRH still has 24/7, 365 coverage in the emergency room, thanks to locums and physicians that have ER credentials.
“We have coverage every day, 24-7, 365 at the ER,” Riley said. “When someone gives us very short notice, it does create some difficulties in trying to cover the shifts, but we have all the shifts covered at this time. We have to find locums at a very high pay, but we have coverage. We do have contingency plans though; physicians with the proper credentials can cover ER shifts too, it just won’t happen all the time.”
Riley said MRH is looking to fill two of the openings quickly, while Dr. Huyn’s opening is unknown at this time due to his deployment and given his contract is set to renew later this year.
“We’re looking at our options,” Riley said. “We’d love to have the positions filled before the doctors are gone from MRH. Otherwise, we’ll need coverage that is more expensive and it’s just not preferable.”